The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 and Fabulous Give-away Opportunityi

IFFP 2015

Ever since I began reading the books listed for the  Independent Foreign Fiction Prize two years ago, I have been mesmerized by the beauty of books in translation. As a whole I have found them often dark, but always unique, opening my eyes to the larger world around me. Through the words of the authors on both the long list, and the short, I have traveled to Iraq, China, Sweden, Holland, Colombia, Russia, Germany, Italy and France. I have alternately longed to live in some of these lands and been grateful for the country I call home. But, I have never closed a book listed for the IFFP and not been enlightened. (The London Review of Books recently wrote an article on this feeling entitled, “The Unstoppable Rise of Translated Fiction.”)

Now it is nearing the time when the winner for the IFFP 2015 will be announced. The award ceremony takes place in London, on Wednesday, May 27. I can’t even describe how sad I am that I unable to accept the invitation to attend, as my teaching career and Chicago location prohibit such a trip at this time.

However, I am able to do a marvelous thing. I am able to give away a complete set of all six of the books on the short list for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. They include:

  • By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel translated from the Spanish by Jethro Soutar (And Other Stories)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel (Harvill Secker)
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky (Portobello Books)
  • F by Daniel Kehlmann, translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway (Quercus)
  • In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne (Pushkin Press)
  • While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent (Pushkin Press)

We will have to see which one is named the winner on May 27. Until then, please leave a comment if you wish to be entered in the give-away which is graciously open, thanks to Booktrust, to UK and US residents. I will determine the winner through a random sequence generator on May 31, and announce the winner on this post.

Best of luck to all who enter!


Congratulations to Parrish Lantern, winner of the IFFP 2015 short list package,  and thanks to all who entered to win. As you probably know by now, The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck was the novel which won, and I can’t recommend it highly enough for your own shelf.

35 thoughts on “The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 and Fabulous Give-away Opportunityi”

  1. Tuesday! And I’ve only read one of the books, with the Murakami still sitting on my shelves. That answers the question of what to read this weekend: I can have an opinion on at least two of the titles in contention. In the Beginning Was the Sea was wonderful, and I will get hold of the others on the list soon. Unfortunately I don’t think I’m eligible for the draw as I’m not in the UK, but I do still have a postal address there if that counts!


  2. Count me in! I’ve tried to get some of these from my library but failed which tells you something about the attitudes towards books in translation sadly. Here’s hoping I get to win.


  3. I have only read the Murakami book from this list, so would jump for joy, even pull a wheelie on my bike at the merest chance that I may be placed into the virtual hat that is the Tandem Frequent Accelerator. So please consider me as having wilfully dived into the hat & sitting patiently in its folds waiting on that chance hand reaching in & raising me up to a wonderful reading experience that would await the laurel crowned winner.


  4. I would love to win these books. I’ve been trying to get a few of the titles from my library and have failed. So sad that they don’t carry many translated fiction.


  5. I would be thrilled to win this competition! I always want to read literary works for my blog but I often end up being swept with the crowd and reading the latest popular releases. I guarantee these titles will all be reviewed!
    A wonderful idea for a competition.


  6. I have too many books to read, so don’t put me in the draw despite not having any of these six. I am really enjoying reading in translation these days – these past few year have increasingly opened up the ‘world’ of literature which is just marvellous.


    1. I have “too many” books as well, and am therefore adopting Jacqui’s plan of TBR 20; at least I can whittle down my stack of Japanese literature that way. I so agree with you about how the past few years have opened up the world of literature, for me, too, and it is an exciting place to be.


  7. This is such a wonderful giveaway! Thanks so much for offering it. I would love to enter.

    Translated fiction is something I don’t read enough of but I have never closed one such book without being charmed by it. Definitely need to read more of it.

    Sorry you cannot attend the IFFP award ceremony. I know I will be bummed as well.


  8. I read In The Beginning There Was Sea recently and was just wowed, it reminded me I need to read more translated fiction – I’m missing out. Instead of reading the Baileys shortlist next year, I should switch to this prize instead.

    If I could be entered in, that would be marvellous.


  9. Always, always the IFFP is an opportunity to indulge in some truly remarkable fiction that we all too infrequently see here in the US. Thank you for the opportunity to relish them all.


  10. This is amazing, please count me in! I am studying literary translation at the moment so am trying to read as many translations as I can… Thanks very much 🙂


  11. Wonderful Bellezza, I have read By Night The Mountain Burns and would love to read the rest. I’m a literary translator myself, there is a huge world of treasure out there waiting to be discovered!


  12. Please count me in!

    Firmly believe in the importance of making voices travel through translation, and would love to have the opportunity to explore this year’s shortlist of this prize which has made me aware of many wonders of world literature in recent years.

    Thanks for offering this!


  13. I’d love to be put in the hat please! Haven’t managed to read any the IFFP shortlist yet this year and would love to change that! Thanks.


  14. I’d love to be in with a chance! Lots of the above are on my to-read list but I haven’t got any copies yet. Thank you for this opportunity and your wonderful blog!


  15. Only just seen this – it would be amazing to win these books! To whoever does win, I hope you enjoy reading them – it looks like an amazing collection.


  16. I’m sorry you’re unable to travel to London. I know how much you’d love to go. Please do toss my name in the hat! I need to read more translations. They tend to be very eye-opening from a cultural perspective. I’ve probably spent too much of my reading time in the U.S. and England, lately. 🙂


  17. Would simply love to read all those… the first one I have, the others not yet – and I really want to go to the event next Wednesday 🙂


    1. Well, they got it right with Detour in 2013, and they got it right with End of Days in 2015. I can’t imagine what happened with Iraqi Christ in 2014, except the judges felt compelled to bow under some political/social pressure. They surely didn’t give honor to a single book I felt worthy from that short list.

      On a happier note, so glad that you will enjoy this, and I’m looking forward to your thoughts on each book as you read it.


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